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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Week 2 Practice Wrap-up

Two-a-days are over, a quarter of the Bulldogs' roster is recovering from injuries, and the focus of camp is beginning to shift from learning the ropes to prepping for Georgia Southern. Here are some outtakes from various interviews throughout the week:

Head coach Mark Richt on defensive tackle Jeff Owens' decision to return to Georgia for his senior season: "You've got to measure what's in your heart, what you want to do. Do you want to come back and try to win a championship? Do you want to win some type of national award? Or just see what it feels like to be that senior, to be that leader. If you talk a guy into staying when he really doesn't want to stay, then you're probably not going to have that good a leader anyway. He loves it here. He felt like he had some growing to do as a man and as a ball player, and he felt like it was in his best interest to come back. I think once you become a senior and you realize this is your last shot, you play with a little more passion and you're going to take on a leadership responsibility that you didn't have before."

Richt on the kicking game: "I would say right now, Blair Walsh leads the extra point and field goal race. I don't know if we have a kick-off man yet. I like how (Brian) Mimbs is (punting) the ball, and Drew Butler has been much improved. I feel very comfortable with our punters right now."

Richt on who has impressed at linebacker: "I see Charles White really beginning to learn. He's always been eager to strike someone, he's very physical. But he's getting more comfortable. Dowtin has got a lot of great tools, but his knowledge is holding him back right now. But I think he'll play this year, or we'd sure like for him to play. They're all coming along but I can't say anybody's a stick of dynamite right now."

Richt on redshirt decisions: "Right now we are going on the premise that they are all going to play, every one of them. We'll still sort it out, but there's other seasons you're more sure a guy's probably not going to be ready, but every one of those DBs, our true freshmen backs, our true freshmen receivers, our true freshmen defensive backs, they all are in the running for playing time and a much higher percentage will play than won't."

Safety John Knox on the progression of the freshmen defensive backs: "They're all talented. We've got a good recruiting staff here. They brought in good athletes. They're learning, it's a learning process, but it's camp. That's what they're here for. But they look real good out there. There's going to be some guys that are not going to get that redshirt, there's going to be some guys that will. They're still competing, I'm still competing."

Tackle Kiante Tripp on the development of the offensive line: "This year we've got more experience. Last year we had all freshmen. I was backing up (Chester Adams). Vince was backing up Chris. Everybody who was backing up people are a couple of starters now or on the second team now. As far as the rotation this year, the second team are doing way more plays than they did last year. All we did was a certain amount of plays and that was it, this year, they're getting different varieties of plays, and they're executing real well."

DB Asher Allen on playing key players like Knowshon Moreno or himself at returner: "You can't really play scared. You've just got to play the game of football. It's a high-risk sport, but that's life. You've got to protect yourself, but if you're helping your team out doing those extra duties like that, that's the important thing."

Fullback Brannan Southerland on Georgia's morning practice at the pool: "You can do things like this when you have a team focused when it's time to practice. We were focused, we were ready to get work done today, but him letting us off, everyone just gets excited."

Southerland on dealing with his injury: "To be honest with you, the boot is easy. The worst thing is the crutches. You take it for granted being able to walk around. When you're on crutches, when you get back walking, you know what a gift it is."

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